Africa

Hamza Al-Mustapha: Nigeria has no excuse for inadequate power supply

Hamza Al-Mustapha, ex-chief security officer to Sani Abacha, former head of state, says Nigeria doesn’t have any excuse for inadequate power supply. Al-Mustapha said this during an interview with newsmen on Sunday, noting that Nigeria has abundant resources that should reflect in its power supply. He said electricity supply is still very expensive in the country, adding that the country has what it takes to have a stable and cheap power supply. “Up till this moment, electricity supply in Nigeria is still very very expensive compared to other countries in spite of the fact that we have all it takes to have one of the most stable and cheap power supply in the world,” Al Mustapha said. “We have the resources in abundance, we have coal and gas, we have solar energy in abundance because we are ...

COVID-19: Hard choices made by Nigeria responsible for successful impact – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said the hard choices made by his administration to tackle the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world have yielded successful impacts. The president, who addressed Nigerians in a nationwide broadcast on Saturday to mark the 2021 Democracy Day, was referring to some measures, including travel restrictions across the states of the federation and beyond, compulsory use of nose masks, hand washing protocols and other relevant protocols instituted to limit spread of the virus. Mr Buhari said; “Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns. “You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of proactive measures put in place. Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed. “...

Zambian court throws out second challenge to president’s re-election bid

Zambia’s Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that President Edgar Lungu can stand for re-election in August, throwing out a second opposition challenge to his eligibility on the basis of the constitutional two-term limit. The ruling comes as Zambia faces a multipronged economic crisis, after overleveraging its debt right before the brutal global COVID-19 shutdown. The crisis has triggered Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign default and driven the southern African country to seek emergency IMF help. Lungu’s first term in office lasted a year and six months, when he took over after the death of the previous elected president, Michael Sata. He then won an election in a disputed vote in August 2016. Since this is technically his second term, the opposition had argued that he is no longer el...

UN: Close to 10,000 Mozambicans fleeing violence forcibly removed from Tanzania

Almost 10,000 Mozambicans have been forcibly removed from Tanzania so far this year after fleeing a deadly Islamist insurgency in their homeland, a spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday. Mozambique’s northern-most province of Cabo Delgado has been the focus of an insurgency linked to Islamic State since October 2017, but the conflict began gathering pace last year with militants regularly seizing and holding key towns. That culminated in an attack on the town of Palma in March, which killed dozens, displaced 70,000 according to the UNHCR and forced oil giant Total to halt its nearby $20 billion gas project. Many people headed north to the Tanzanian border, but were rejected, or were admitted then returned via a different border post hours inland. UNHCR spokesperson Babar ...

Africa on cusp of the third wave of coronavirus facing a vaccine shortage

Africa is heading into a third wave of coronavirus infections as the least-inoculated continent faces a shortage of vaccines. African nations reported 94,000 new cases in the week through June 6, a 26% increase. South Africa announced the most new cases, followed by Tunisia, Africa Centres for Disease Control & Prevention Director John Nkengasong said in an online briefing Thursday. “Fourteen or so of our member states are now heading toward the third wave, and aggressively so,” he said. “It really highlights the need for us to roll out vaccines at speed and at scale.” Only 2.8% of Africa’s population is inoculated, compared with a global average of 14.5%, according to Africa CDC and Bloomberg Economics data. The program has slowed because of interruptions to supply from India, where m...

Morocco says Madrid seeks to ‘Europeanise’ its crisis with Rabat

Morocco’s foreign minister on Wednesday accused Spain of trying to turn a political crisis between the two countries into an EU problem by focusing on migration and ignoring the root causes. The row blew up in April after Spain admitted the leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali, for medical treatment without informing Rabat, which regards the disputed territory as its own. Morocco then appeared to relax border controls with Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta on May 17, leading to an influx of at least 8,000 migrants. Since then Spain and Morocco have traded accusations of violating good neighbourliness, with Spain saying Morocco used the migrants while Rabat says Spain acted in connivance with “adversaries” of its territorial integrity. “Spain tries to Europe...

UAE ratifies extradition deal with South Africa as hunt for Guptas intensifies

The United Arab Emirates has ratified a 2018 extradition treaty with South Africa, its embassy in Pretoria said on Wednesday, a move that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government hopes will lead to the return of the Gupta brothers to face corruption charges. South Africa signed the treaty with the UAE in late 2018, part of Ramaphosa’s effort to crack down on those accused of corruption and influence peddling under his predecessor, Jacob Zuma. It was ratified in April, UAE’s embassy said in a statement. The Gupta brothers – Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta – are accused of using connections with Zuma to win contracts, misappropriate state assets, inappropriately influence cabinet appointments and siphon off billions of rand in state funds. The Indian-born brothers, who have repeatedly denied wrong...

US prioritises students’ visas

US Embassy in South Africa The U.S. Mission Country Consular Coordinator, Susan Tuller, has said the Mission in Nigeria will continue to prioritise student visa appointments throughout the summer months. Tuller disclosed this during the celebration of the U.S. Consulate’s “Student Visa Day.” According to her, there are over 13,000 Nigerian students and soon a few more may join them in studying in the U.S. She added that the Mission has interviewed over 2,500 student applicants since this year. Tuller noted that student visa numbers have gone down worldwide due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to her, student numbers from Nigeria were up to 2.5 per cent for the 2019/2020 school year, adding that in the eighth year in a row, the percentage has increased. Tuller encouraged students ...

Nigeria orders broadcasters not to use Twitter to gather information

Nigerian television and radio stations should not use Twitter to gather information and have to de-activate their accounts, the broadcast authority said following the move to suspend the US social media giant in Africa’s most populous country. Nigeria’s government on Friday said it had suspended Twitter’s activities, two days after the platform removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish secessionists. Nigerian telecoms firms have since blocked access to Twitter. International diplomats responded with a joint statement in support of “free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria”. Buhari, who was Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s, has previously been accused of cracking down on freedom of expression, though his government has ...

Senegalese navy seizes 8 tonnes of cannabis resin from boat

The Senegalese navy on Sunday intercepted a boat smuggling over 8 tonnes of cannabis resin through the waters off the West African nation’s coast, the armed forces ministry said in a statement. The vessel, which was flying a Togolese flag, was stopped 140 kilometres (87 miles) from the coastal capital of Dakar with seven crew members on board. After escorting the boat to a naval base in Dakar, the authorities discovered the 8.37 tonnes of hashish split between 279 bags. The boat was also carrying sacks of plaster, the ministry said on Monday. It did not provide a street value for the seized drugs. Earlier this year, authorities in Niger seized 17 tonnes of cannabis resin worth around 31 million euros ($37 million), the largest bust in the country’s history. According to Interpol, drug king...

Lagos governor: Twitter should have an office in Nigeria to resolve issues

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu said if Twitter had an office in Nigeria, resolving the current Twitter ban initiated by the Buhari government would have been easier. The governor made the suggestion in an interview with Arise TV on Monday. Mr Sanwo-Olu noted that he cannot categorically say if the federal government’s action against Twitter is wrong or right because he does not have the same prognosis as the President and Commander in Chief. “I cannot sit down here with all of the responsibilities that I have and fly (sic) the commander in chief of the armed forces. Even had (sic) a prognosis and security information that I do not have. I cannot begin to say that was it done is right or wrong” he asserted. He alluded that the government had only suspended Twitter operations in Nig...

WHO seeks G7 support to meet vaccination targets

The Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has solicited the support of G7 health ministers to meet vaccination targets by the end of the year. In his remarks at the G7 Health Ministers’ meeting in Oxford, Ghebreyesus appealed to the ministers to provide leadership for strengthening WHO on sustainable financing. “First, we seek your support for reaching our vaccination targets for September and the end of the year; sharing doses with COVAX now is essential for achieving those targets. “We need 250 million doses by September and we need 100 million doses just in June and July. “As G7 nations, you are in a unique position to pool doses and make this happen; second, we seek your leadership for strengthening WHO, including through sustainable and predictable f...